The dream of any restaurant is to be able to find customers who love their establishment, repeat their visits regularly, appreciate the dining experience on offer and recommend it to other customers. Utopia? Not at all ! This is a very achievable goal without resorting to magic formulas.
The secret is to know who are the most suitable customers for the establishment and to target them.
In marketing, this type of customer is called a “ buyer persona ”, a concept which designates the ideal customer prototype for any business, and whose profile must be clearly defined in order to be able to focus all strategies on him. Do you know who is the perfect customer for your restaurant? To find out, follow these steps.
Step 1: Define your services
The first step in determining your ideal clients is to know who you are. It is therefore essential to be able to confidently answer questions of the following type:
- What type of restaurant are you?
- What gastronomic experience do you offer?
- What services are available in your establishment
You should also be able to answer the following questions:
- What type of restaurant are you not?
- What services do you not offer?
When setting up your profile, you may find that different types of customers frequent your restaurant. Example :
Asian gastronomy restaurant. It offers a varied menu and knows how to adapt to trends. The house specialties are duck and a whole range of Japanese dumplings, gyozas, but the menu has recently been enriched with new dishes such as ramen pasta soups, which allow it to find new customers. The restaurant mainly attracts 3 types of customers: executives working in the neighborhood who come to lunch for lunch, women aged 35 to 45 serving the evening and foodies of Generation Y attracted by the trendy dishes.
Faced with such a varied panorama, how do you know who your ideal client is? To find out, go to step 2.
Step 2: Collect the information
This is the most important step in the process. It consists of compiling information from all sources related to the restaurant, using various methods:
Conduct surveys and have forms filled out
You can organize surveys on your digital channels (Facebook, Twitter, website) or offer more sophisticated forms in your email or SMS campaigns. The bottom line is that you can ask questions that help you get all categories of information.
Basic data: Civil status, number of children, studies, level of income, profession.
Information of a more qualitative nature: What are your tastes and your motivations? What guides you in your choice of a restaurant? What needs are you looking to meet in a restaurant? Who do you enjoy going out to eat with? How often do you go to a restaurant? Do you make reservations online? If so, on your mobile phone or on your computer?
Direct information about your establishment: What products do you like in our restaurant and which ones do you dislike? What do you think of the service? What would you change? Why do you prefer our restaurant to other establishments?
Leverage your database
For a while, in the file of each customer who has reserved one of your tables , write down information on his consumption , the type of drinks and dishes he prefers, the places he likes to sit, the products that he rejects, in short, all his preferences.
This way you will get to know the customers who are already frequenting your restaurant better. If you involve all of your staff, especially the servers, who are in constant contact with customers, you will be able to build up a valuable database that will help you find customers.
TheFork Manager software makes your job considerably easier. If you don’t have a customer database yet, click here .
Analyze your social networks
Facebook and Twitter’s marketing tools allow you to collect and analyze various data that provide you with additional information about your subscribed customers. Some data are elementary (age, sex, profession, address) and others are more complex: tastes, thematic interests and content that they consult the most . You might find that the majority of your followers are middle aged women who love cooking recipe videos . Ideal index to encourage you to create your own videos, publish them on your profiles and thus manage to find these customers.
Step 3: Create the profile that will allow you to find the perfect clients
Once all the information has been gathered, you can begin to create the character, his story, and the characteristics of his personality and consumption habits . A good method is to create the profile in several phases:
- First, determine who your customer is.
- Second, determine his goals and motivations.
- Third, determine how your restaurant can meet its consumption needs.
Example :Women. 39 years old. Married. Without children. Framework. She has average purchasing power and willingly spends in restaurants. Her favorite social network is Instagram. She posts photos of the products she consumes and of her travels. She goes to a restaurant 3 times a week. On weekdays, she goes there with her co-workers and on weekends, with her friends and her husband. She likes spacious and modern places. She enjoys the wine. She doesn’t hesitate to try new dishes. She enjoys personalized and prompt service. She sometimes books her restaurants online.
The final objective is to focus your marketing actions on a customer profile as detailed as possible in order to be able to find these customers and retain them. All this information also allows you to tailor the menu, prices, decoration, events and service to the needs of that perfect client who will return regularly to sit at your tables. It is a job that takes effort and determination, but the results are well worth it.